With so many remakes, sequels and familiar subjects hitting theaters between now and Labor Day, this year’s summer movie season should be dubbed as “deja viewed.”
There are sequels by the numbers: “Smurfs 2,” “Red 2,” “Kick-A** 2,” “Despicable Me 2,” “The Hangover III” and “Fast and Furious 6.” And there are sequels that try to slip by, such as “Star Trek Into Darkness” and “Monsters University.”
Movies like “Iron Man 3,” “Man of Steel” and “The Wolverine” aren’t just returns to the big screen for the heroes; they have a huge comic-book fan following. The same can be said of the “300” sequel: “300: Rise of an Empire,” which is inspired by the Frank Miller graphic novel.
Then there are movies including “World War Z,” “The Great Gatsby” and “Mortal Instruments,” which are based on best-selling books.
This list may sound familiar, but it stars some of the most-anticipated new movies being released this summer. Release dates are subject to change.
May 3‘Iron Man 3’
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle
Director: Shane Black
Pitch: Iron Man battles The Mandarin.
My take: Increased fire power will make it a blast.
May 10‘The Great Gatsby’
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Pitch: A would-be writer meets a millionaire with secrets.
My take: The summer’s most glitzy offering.
Stars: Craig Robinson, Kerry Washington, David Alan Grier
Director: Tina Chism
Pitch: Marriage proposal upsets family reunion.
My take: Tyler Perry movies draw a crowd.
May 17‘Star Trek Into Darkness’
Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto
Director: J.J. Abrams
Pitch: The Enterprise crew battles forces that threaten Starfleet.
My take: It will boldly go to huge box office numbers.
May 24‘The Hangover Part III’
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong
Director: Todd Phillips
Pitch: No bachelor party, but the same results.
My take: The second film in the franchise showed some life, but it’s time to end this party.
‘Fast and Furious 6’
Stars: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson
Director: Justin Lin
Pitch: Fancy cars are driven very fast.
My take: It’s a franchise that keeps on driving.
Stars: Beyonce Knowles, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried
Director: Chris Wedge
Pitch: Animated tale of the battle between good and evil in the woods.
My take: Won’t be epic at the box office, but it will have a good showing.
May 31‘The Purge’
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey
Director: James DeMonaco
Pitch: Family faces crisis in a world with no laws.
My take: It will be the choice when other movies are sold out.
‘Now You See Me’
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman
Director: Louis Leterrier
Pitch: Bank robbing illusionist makes money disappear.
My take: Needs real magic to draw a crowd.
June 7‘After Earth’
Stars: Jaden Smith, Will Smith
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Pitch: Teen, his dad crash on devastated Earth.
My take: No faith Shyamalan can make a good movie.
Stars: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson
Director: Shawn Levy
Pitch: Two men talk their way into an internship at Google.
My take: Should be called “The Job Crashers.”
June 12‘This is the End’
Stars: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel
Director: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Pitch: Friends are trapped in a house after Los Angeles is wiped out.
My take: Will cause case of comedy cabin fever.
June 14‘Man of Steel’
Stars: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane
Director: Zack Snyder
Pitch: Superman becomes symbol of hope.
My take: Latest relaunch won’t go up, up and away.
June 21‘Monsters University’
Stars: Billy Crystal, John Goodman
Director: Dan Scanlon
Pitch: How Mike and Sulley became friends.
My take: Why did it take this long to make a sequel?
‘World War Z’
Stars: Brad Pitt, Matthew Fox, Mireille Enos
Director: Marc Forster
Pitch: A look at the world after a zombie war.
My take: Should be a monster hit.
June 28‘The Heat’
Stars: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy
Director: Paul Feig
Pitch: Uptight FBI agent and unruly cop must work together.
My take: Feig will keep movie from misfiring.
‘White House Down’
Stars: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx
Director: Roland Emmerich
Pitch: Only one man can save the White House.
My take: “Olympus Has Fallen” stole its thunder.
July 3‘The Lone Ranger’
Stars: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer
Director: Gore Verbinski
Pitch: Tonto tells tale of the masked man.
My take: Has to be better than the last big-screen “Lone Ranger.”
‘Despicable Me 2’
Stars: Steve Carell, Al Pacino, Kristen Wiig
Director: Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin
Pitch: Gru, girls are back.
My take: You can’t go wrong with these minions.
July 12‘Pacific Rim’
Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Pitch: Giant robots battle sea creatures.
My take: Bet on the robots.
‘Grown Ups 2’
Stars: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Salma Hayek
Director: Dennis Dugan
Pitch: Friends get together for more fun.
My take: Adam Sandler’s track record stinks.
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti
Director: David Soren
Pitch: A snail gets the power of super speed.
My take: On the fast track to be a hit.
July 19‘The Conjuring’
Stars: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson
Director: James Wan
Pitch: Paranormal investigators face real terror.
My take: “Amityville” for the 21st century.
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Bacon
Director: Robert Schwentke
Pitch: Two undead cops go on patrol.
My take: Just odd enough to be a surprise hit.
Stars: Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren
Director: Dean Parisot
Pitch: The old gang is back to fight more evil.
My take: Should be just as surprising as first film.
July 26‘The Wolverine’
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee
Director: James Mangold
Pitch: The comic book hero ends up in Japan.
My take: Will claw its way to good box office numbers.
July 31‘Smurfs 2’
Stars: Neil Patrick Harris, Hank Azaria, Sofia Vergara
Director: Raja Gosnell
Pitch: Gargamel creates evil Smurf-like creatures.
My take: Kids will keep studio from feeling blue.
Aug. 2‘300: Rise of an Empire’
Stars: Sullivan Stapleton, Lena Headey, Hans Matheson
Director: Noam Murro
Pitch: Greek general tries to rally the troops.
My take: Anything based on Frank Miller’s work will be powerful.
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, James Marsden
Director: Baltasar Kormakur
Pitch: Competing operatives go on the run.
My take: Not enough firepower for the summer.
Aug. 7‘Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters’
Stars: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel
Director: Thor Freudenthal
Pitch: Percy looks for the Golden Fleece.
My take: Does anyone remember the first movie?
Aug. 9‘We’re the Millers’
Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Pitch: Small-time crook goes big time.
My take: Big-screen version of “Weeds.”
Stars: Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett, Carlos Alazraqui
Director: Klay Hall
Pitch: One plane longs to be in an air race.
My take: It’s “Cars” with wings.
Stars: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Pitch: Conflict brews between classes in 2154.
My take: Damon’s a safe bet when it comes to action heroes.
Aug. 16‘Kick-A** 2’
Stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Pitch: A new wave of costumed heroes emerges.
My take: New movie won’t kick butt.
Aug. 23‘Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’
Stars: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower
Director: Harald Zwart
Pitch: Teen learns she’s a descendant of secret group of half-angel warriors.
My take: Has built-in audience of fans of Cassandra Clare’s novels.
Stars: Sharni Vinson, Joe Swanberg, A.J. Bowen
Director: Adam Wingard
Pitch: Family attacked by mysterious killers.
My take: Will have trouble battling big summer releases.
Aug. 28‘Closed Circuit’
Stars: Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall, Riz Ahmed
Director: John Crowley
Pitch: Ex-lovers find their loyalties tested during a trial.
My take: One of the more cerebral movies of the summer.
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, Jon Voight
Directors: Courtney Solomon, Yaron Levy
Pitch: Burned-out race car driver must save kidnapped wife.
My take: Summer movies coast to an end.